Return to Ohio Biographies
Return to Index
William Wallace Innes
FEALTY to facts in the analyzation of the character of a citizen of the type of the late William Wallace Innes, form many years a well-known citizen of Cincinnati, is all that is required to make a biographical memoir interesting to those who have at heart the good name of the community honored by his residence, because it is the honorable reputation of the men of standing and affairs, more than any other consideration, that gives character and stability to the body politic and makes the true glory of a city or state revered at home and respected abroad. In the broad light in which things of good report ever invite, the name and character of Mr. Innes stand revealed and secure and, though of modest demeanor, with no ambition to distinguish himself in public position or as a leader of men, his career was signally honorable and useful, and it may be studied with profit by the youth entering upon his life work.
William Wallace Innes, whose death occurred at his home in Cincinnati, Ohio, on October 7, 1904, was a native of the land of hills and heather, having first seen the light of day at Huntley, Scotland, on the 26th day of December, 1823. He was the son of William and Anna (Innes) innes, who though of the same family name, were not of kin. When the subject of this sketch was about seven years old, the family emigrated to the United States, locating firs at Albany, New York, which was their home for a number of years. Eventually they moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where the parents both died, within a short time of each other. William Innes was a maker of furniture, practically all of the work being done by hand in that early day. However, he was a good workman and was a man of excellent parts, being favorably known in the community where he lived. To these parents were born the following children: Dvid K., now deceased, who for many years was engaged in the mantel and grate business in Cincinnati, under the firm name of D. K. Innes Sons; William Wallace, the immediate subject of this memoir; Margaret became the wife of Sylvester Hand, and both are now deceased; Robert Bruce, deceased, who was engaged in the book-binding business in Cincinnati; Isabella was the wife of D. W. Miller, both being now deceased; James, also deceased, was a man of marked literary ability, and devoted himself to that line of effort.
William W. Innes was reared by his parents at Albany, New York, securing a good practical education in the public schools of that city. When he was about seventeen years of age the family came to Cincinnati, and here he applied himself to learn the trade of a book-binder, in the establishment of Smith, Sargent & Wilson and, later, under their successors, Sargent, Wilson & Hinkle. he thoroughly learned every detail of the art of binding, and proved so efficient an employee that eventually he was taken in as a partner in the bindery department. Subsequently he and John R. Davey became the owners of the bindery under the name of John R. Davey & Company. This was a successful and well-known establishment and eventually was absorbed by the American Book Company. It is worthy of special note that Mr. Innes remained actively engaged in connection with this bindery for over sixty years, and on the completion of his sixth decade of active service the American Book Company celebrated the occasion in a most fitting manner. Mr. Innes remained "in the harness" until a short time before his death. He was a stockholder in the American Book Company and was at the head of the binding department, being considered one of the most valuable members of the corporation. He was a man of broad ideas and progressive spirit, which, coupled with his industry, sturdy perseverance and absolute honesty, gave him an enviable standing with his associates. He was, in the best sense of the term, a self-made man, for without outside assistance or influence, he had worked his way up from an humble position to one of importance and responsibility. Mr. Inness had traveled extensively, both in this country and abroad, and, being a keen observer, he had absorbed a vast fund of sound, practical knowledge. A man of large physique, he was a man of cheerful and kindly impulses, of an optimistic disposition and carried the gospel of sunshine wherever he went. He was a man of marked domestic tastes and had a strong affection for his home and family, among whom he found his greatest pleasure.
Politically, William W. Innes was a stanch supporter of the Republican party, believing firmly in its principles and policies. His religious membership was in the Methodist Episcopal Church, in the various activities of which he was deeply interested, being treasurer of his church. He was of a generous and charitable disposition, withholding his hand from no worthy object and giving his earnest support to every movement having for its object the welfare of his fellow me. However, his benefactions were not paraded before the world, for he was entirely unostentatious in all his ways.
On June 1, 1854, Mr. Innes was united in marriage with Mary Eliza Dunham, the daughter of James and Rhoda (Woolley) Dunham, both of whom were natives of New Jersey. Mrs. Innes' father died when she was quite young. Rhoda Woolley's father was John Woolley, who, with his wife and family drove to Cincinnati from the East, coming over the mountains with several teams. Mr. Woolley bought two sections of land, the site of present Norwood, Cincinnati, some of the land still owned by the heirs. During their lives the parents farmed this land, but the children later subdivided it, selling it for residence purposes. Rhoda Woolley was but a young girl when the family came to Cincinnati and she was reared on the home farm, living there at the time of her marriage to Mr. James Dunham. Mr Dunham died a short time after their marriage, but she lived to the age of seventy-six years, dying in Cincinnati. They were the parents of two children, Samuel, deceased, and Mary Eliza, Mrs. innes. mr. Dunham was for a number of years a merchant tailor in Cincinnati and was a man of excellent reputation and upright life. Mrs. Innes was well educated, receiving instruction in the public schools and also in a convent. Mr. and Mrs. Innes celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary at their summer home on Catawba Island, Lake Erie, it being a very enjoyable affair, attended by their children and many of their friends.
To Mr. and Mrs Innes were born eight children; namely, (1) William DeCamp, who since boyhood has been identified with the American Book Company at Cincinnati, married Carrie Taylor and they have five children; namely, Margaret is the wife of Dr. Arthur H. Clancy, and they have one child, Innes; Ethel, Gladys, Catherine, and William Wallace. (2) John Walker, of Chicago, who married Edith Kennedy, and they have two children; namely, Ruth and Joseph. John W. had been previously married to Marle Bevan, of Chicago, to which union were born two children, Howard Bevan and Helen. (3) Myra is the wife of Charles A. Hinsch, President of the Fifth-Third National Bank, of Cincinnati, and they have three children, Innes Denman, who died young, Mary Innes and Charles Arthur, Jr. (4) Adna Leonard Innes, who was born at Winton Place, Cincinnati, July 16, 1878. He received his elementary education in the Cincinnati public schools, graduating from the high school. He then attended and graduated from the University of Cincinnati and the Pulte Medical College, after which he located in Cincinnati. He won the competitive examination entitling him to the internship at the Cumberland Street Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, and was there eighteen months. He then went on to Vienna for advanced medical studies, his specialty being diseases of the eye, ear, nose, and throat. After a year abroad he took a post-graduate course in New York City and then located in Cleveland, ohio, for the active practice of his profession. However, at a comparatively early age his health failed, and after an illness of several years, his death occurred on July 4, 1913. He had married Caroline Martin, of New York City, and they had one child, Janette Melvin. Dr. Innes was an appreciated member of the Medical Society at Cleveland, of college fraternities, and was well liked generally. In college he had taken a prominent part in athletics and was a popular member of all circles into which he entered.
William Wallace Innes was a man of strong character and earnest life. His personal relations with his fellow men were ever mutually pleasant and agreeable, and he was highly regarded by all, having been easily approached, obliging and straight-forward in all the relations of life. He was passionately fond of art, especially painting, in which he was himself an expert, having studied under the late Thon Lindsey, and he executed many splendid canvasses. In all that constituted true manhood and good citizenship he was a worth example and none stood higher than he in the esteem and confidence of those who knew him.
Barbara's Bordered Backgrounds